147 episodes

Discussions over drinks with security, defense, and foreign policy insiders and experts. The original War on the Rocks podcast series.

War on the Rocks Ryan Evans

    • Politics
    • 4.8 • 484 Ratings

Discussions over drinks with security, defense, and foreign policy insiders and experts. The original War on the Rocks podcast series.

    Airmen, Sailors, and the Schoolhouse

    Airmen, Sailors, and the Schoolhouse

    As a part of our exploration of national security learning, we had Joan Johnson-Freese of the Naval War College and Mark Conversino of Air University on the show. Tune into this rich and wide-ranging conversation on what's right and wrong with professional military education in the Navy and Air Force. 

    • 54 min
    Learn Like a Marine

    Learn Like a Marine

    Soon-to-be retired Maj. Gen. William Mullen drops in on the pod to talk about the making of the Marine Corps' newest doctrine, Learning, and how he hopes it will change his beloved Corps. It's all about two words: lifelong learning.

    • 30 min
    Gearing up for Economic Statecraft

    Gearing up for Economic Statecraft

    David McCormick, the CEO of Bridgewater Associates — the world's largest hedge fund, dropped in on the pod to talk about how the United States can prepare itself to compete in a new era in which, more than ever, economic security is national security. Speaking from decades of experience at the highest levels of industry and government, McCormick lays out what America needs to do from policy to innovation to government reorganization to immigration to talent management and beyond. He also discusses the state of the global economy, the impact of COVID-19, and how America's economy could be reshaped to realize equality of opportunity. Want more? Don't miss his essay in the Texas National Security Review with co-authors Charles Luftig and James Cunningham: "Economic Might, National Security, and the Future of American Statecraft."

    • 41 min
    The Army Grapples with Modernization and COVID-19: A Conversation with Jim McPherson

    The Army Grapples with Modernization and COVID-19: A Conversation with Jim McPherson

    Undersecretary of the Army James E. McPherson chats with Ryan about how the Army is coping with COVID-19 — starting with the recruitment pipeline — and the challenges of modernization. He also tells us about his military journey: Jim started as a young man in the Army then later joined the Navy, and he retired as judge advocate general of that service. In the last few years, he was called back into public service as a civilian as Army general counsel. In March he was confirmed as and promoted to undersecretary of the Army. He then served briefly as acting secretary of the Navy. Listen to this episode and learn, among other things, why he thought a request to speak to Secretary of Defense James Mattis was a prank and why his first CO in the Navy (a certain John Allen Williams) left a plant in his bed. 

    • 26 min
    Lies Through Which We Tell the Truth

    Lies Through Which We Tell the Truth

    In this episode, Doyle Hodges, executive editor of the Texas National Security Review, chats wth three authors of recent fiction related to military security that explores questions of how technology, society, and the distance between people and violence affects our conception of war and security. Hodges is joined by Linda Nagata, author of The Last Good Man, a near-future science fiction novel that explores a private military company and what they are capable of doing when they use autonomous weaponry combined with surveillance; August Cole, co-author of Burn-In, a counter-terrorism story that looks at the way American society is going to be transformed by everyday automation and robotics; and Matt Gallagher, author of Empire City, which is an alternate dystopian history set in a contemporary America that won the Vietnam War.

    • 52 min
    Are Good Allies Hard to Find?

    Are Good Allies Hard to Find?

    Well, are they? Mira Rapp-Hooper, Paul Miller, and Emma Ashford dazzle us with a wide-ranging debate on America's alliances, in part through the lens of Mira's new book -- Shields of the Republic: The Triumph and Peril of America’s Alliances.

    • 46 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
484 Ratings

484 Ratings

D U N E Brobert Frost D U N E ,

V good

V educational

dickeyville ,

My, How Times Has Changed

Checking out this podcast, I picked a 2017 episode called NothingNew Under the Sun-Trump Era. Two white academics tiptoeing around Trump’s shockingly deleterious effect on domestic military policy, predating the total deterioration of Constitutional principals as applied to control of citizen demonstrations...pretty hilarious to listen to now. Interesting parallels to Nazi Germany’s “I was only following orders”, now being used to justify using helos in DC to intimidate street protestors, and soldiers ripping off their ID insignias so as to operate with impunity against the citizenry. Somebody told those guys to do that, and nobody said no. This is a real command issue that you need to discuss.
This podcast needs to step on up to the present time, invite some minority academics (and regular people) into the discussion, and get out of the military training bubble. Now’s the time...blue haircuts are waaaaay down on the Constitutional crisis we’re facing, guys.

Todd Lyons ,

WOTR = Education on the Move

I highly recommend this podcast as the gold standard for “education on the move.” I listen while walking during the work week to clear my head of the urgent and refocus on what really matters. It is a great reset button with plenty of opportunities to hear a broad range of voices on national security topics. It enhances and broadens the opportunity to engage subjects or materials that may not be getting the attention afforded the inbox. You will love the questions about books that Ryan asks as a way to broaden your own private library.

Break free of the noise of the daily chatter or the tyranny of the urgent. Take the opportunity to participate in a substantive and interesting conversation with WOTR.

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